Statement by H.E. Mr. Nobuhide Minorikawa
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
"Global Responsibility in Development Cooperation of Japan and Germany" Symposium
26 January, 2009
Dr. Lammert, thank you very much for your kind introduction.
Distinguished participants, ladies and gentleman,
I am truly honoured to have the opportunity to speak before all of you on this special occasion.
The current global financial and economic crisis, as Dr. Lammert mentioned, and got into it pretty deeply, has been aggravating our real economy and the implication of that is very grave. One of our foremost concerns is negative impact of the crisis on both developing countries and donor countries alike, since this negative impact could hinder their actions and intentions on tackling developing issues.
I attended the "Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness" in September last year as well as the "Follow-Up International Conference on Financing for Development" in Doha last November. Through these conferences I have realised that there is widespread concern and worry for the growing challenges ahead, while the increase in assistance to developing countries becomes more and more difficult. In light of this, I am deeply concerned about the effects on human security and the achievement of MDGs.
Japan's Aid Principle
In addressing development agendas, I would like to touch upon Japan's principle on aid.
We believe that aid is primarily a temporary solution for development.
We should move forward towards the ultimate goal: that every country, or every government, is able to develop independently, relying on its own capacity and resources. In order to achieve this end, this "Self-Reliance", Capacity Development and Economic Growth in developing countries are, as we know, crucial.
"Ownership" is also vital in the development process. Development without ownership merely results in dependence on donor countries, and does not lead to sustainable economic growth. We should focus on enhancing ownership in order to achieve self-reliance. Developing capacity will help achieve this, thereby making development aid more effective, and forging the path to self-reliance.
Japan has consistently provided aid on this principle, and I believe this principle can be shared by many of you here today.
We gathered here today to discuss how Japan and Germany, who share global responsibility, can contribute to development aid.
Intensive and inclusive coordination is needed now more than ever in these times of financial crisis and economic downturn. Through closer collaboration, we can anticipate a cooperative effect on development assistance. This is, as Dr. Lammert mentioned, a positive resolve. It's not one country missing some parts and that's why we gather together to fill the missing part. It's "one plus one becomes much more than two (1+1>2)". The result becomes bigger than each work separately.
Both in the formulation and implementation of development assistance, we, Japan and Germany, have a similar structure in which two separate bodies, Ministries and implementation agencies, work together. We also find similarities in our aid delivery. So by deepening mutual understanding both at policy level and the implementation phase, we can generate more effective and efficient assistance.
One of the symbolic examples of our development coordination is the work carried out in Afghanistan. The collaboration of German PRT and our assistance, the Japanese assistance, has contributed to the improvement of water supply, the empowerment of women and improved health and medical facilities. It's a good example, but it's a start. I believe that similar collaborations are expected and possible in other countries in need.
Japan and Germany are global leaders, as members of the G8 and among the major economic powers in the world. What's more, the combined development assistance from Japan and Germany accounts for 20% of world development assistance. All of this shows that the action of two such nations, namely Japan and Germany, has a great, great impact on development aid.
Japan and Germany are responsible for peace, security and prosperity, and as strategic partners, both nations are expected to work closely in order to lead efforts and actions in development.
To address African issues, capacity building and human security, Japan hosted last year TICAD IV and has committed to doubling its aid to Africa by 2012. We have also reaffirmed our commitment to Human Security which was incorporated into the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my special respect for Mrs. Ogata, whose tireless dedication and contribution to development has brought immense changes to the people in developing countries, and also to the people engaged in development issues. Under Mrs. Ogata, the new JICA was established last October with the goal of enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of the implementation of Japanese ODA.
Finally, I hope that this Symposium has enabled us to reaffirm the importance of Development issues and deepen our mutual understanding and cooperation between Japan and Germany.
Thank you very much.
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